tv PBS News Hour PBS January 20, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> ifill: good evening. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff . >> ifill: on the newshour tonight: we go to the community of flint, michigan where a water crisis put the governor on the defensive and residents outraged. >> woodruff: also ahead this wednesday: the virus now found in 20 countries and causing brain damage in infants. >> ifill: then, we catch up with two reporters on the campaign trail to go beyond the polls in iowa and new hampshire. >> woodruff: and the second conversation in our series on understanding autism. telling the many stories of the disorder. >> some guy stood up and said, "hey, he's got autism. what's your problem? what's your reason for acting like a jerk?" and what happened is a community formed around him.
foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at macfound.org >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: wall street spent another day on the down side, and the only question was: how low would they go? the dow jones industrial average was off 550 points before a late rally. it ended with a loss of 249 points to close at 15,766. the nasdaq fell five points and the s&p 500 dropped 22. all this was driven by another sharp drop in oil prices to just over $26.50 a barrel.
>> ifill: numbers of a very different sort are also in, and they show 2015 was earth's hottest year on record. scientists at nasa and noaa -- the national oceanic and atmospheric administration -- reported that today. as this nasa animation shows, the data show a steady accumulation of heat in recent decades. and the researchers say it should make doubters of climate change, think twice. >> 15 of the past 16 years have been the warmest years on record. and when you see a run like this, this is not something which people can easily dismiss and say it isn't true. 15 out of 16 is a pretty good batting average. >> ifill: noaa had already announced that 2015 was the second warmest year in the united states since record keeping started 121 years ago. >> woodruff: in pakistan, islamist militants killed at least 18 students and two teachers at a university today
and wounded 23 others. the attackers stormed the school in the northwestern city of charsadda, before being cornered and killed by soldiers. ambulance sirens wailed outside bacha khan university even as the battle raged inside. four militants had sneaked in - under cover of early morning fog - and started shooting. >> ( translated ): we heard firing from the back of the campus. we thought maybe some people were fighting. then the firing increased. then we said, "get into the rooms. don't go out." >> ( translated ): there was so much panic and fear that a friend of mine jumped from the university building. the building is very high, yet he jumped from it in because he was so scared. we saw the militants chanting; "allah is greatest." >> woodruff: police and military forces descended on the campus and counter-attacked. washington post reporter tim craig tracked the operation from islamabad. >> it was quite foggy, so they actually used helicopters to
sort of see the ground of the campus cause it was really foggy. so the helicopters were used. they rappelled commandos on to the school grounds to sort of fight the terrorists. >> woodruff: friends and family waited for news of loved ones as a prolonged gun battle followed. police say they had to proceed with caution. >> ( translated ): this was a short lived operation, approximately two hours in duration, in which time we finished the militants. two of them were on the hostel roof top, but there was some confusion that they might be students, as they were young- looking, otherwise we could easily have targeted them in the beginning. >> woodruff: a breakaway faction of the pakistani taliban claimed responsibility, but the main taliban group called it un- islamic. the attack echoed the 2014 massacre at a grade school in nearby peshawar that killed more than 150 people, mostly children and teachers. >> since then, the army sort of stepped up its response to this menace and this threat and
terrorism attacks went way down this year. depending on what study you are looking at, 50% down, 70% down. but clearly, as a resident of pakistan at the moment, i can say it's a much safer place. with that said, as everyone around the world knows, it only takes one time for a terrorist to be able to enter a location to carry out a horrific attack. >> woodruff: after today's attack, pakistani prime minister nawaz sharif vowed again to wipe out the menace of terrorism in his country. meanwhile, in afghanistan, a taliban car bomber killed seven people on a mini-bus in kabul. the vehicle carried journalists for tolo news, a private t.v. channel that's reported on taliban abuses. >> ifill: iran's supreme leader has thanked the country's revolutionary guards for detaining 10 u.s. sailors last week. the americans were held for 15 hours after straying into iranian waters. on his website today, ayatollah ali khamenei praised the guard's
action, and said: "what they did in the persian gulf was right." khamenei also said iranian protesters who stormed the saudi arabian embassy this month, had harmed iran and islam. the saudis severed diplomatic ties after the attack. >> woodruff: there's confirmation today that islamic state militants have destroyed iraq's oldest christian monastery. satellite photos obtained by the associated press show st. elijah's monastery in mosul was leveled in september of 2014. it had stood for 1,400 years. >> ( translated ): it became a spiritual place for the christians to visit and to have religious ceremonies there. the monastery attracted all the people from mosul, christians and muslims. all the poets, historians and travelers wrote about this monastery. it became a very important place for the history of the church in iraq. >> woodruff: in the past 18 months, the islamic state has
damaged or destroyed hundreds of ancient cultural sites in syria and iraq. >> ifill: back in this country, senate democrats blocked a republican bill to toughen screenings for syrian and iraqi refugees entering the u.s. the two sides jousted over whether it would prevent islamic state militants from entering the country or simply punish the innocent. >> i don't understand why the republicans in the senate and the republican presidential candidates have declared war on these poor refugees. i don't understand why they ignore the fact that these people are going through closer scrutiny, more investigations, more questions, and more delays than any visitors to the united states from any other country. >> what this legislation is about though is about national security, people who are refugees whether they're adequately vetted by the appropriate authorities before they come to the united states and live in our communities. this is not about banning refugees. >> ifill: the bill cleared the republican-led house last fall with a veto-proof majority.
>> woodruff: nearly all of detroit's 100 public schools were forced to close today as teachers staged their latest -- and largest -- sick-out. they're trying to draw attention to a lack of funding, low pay, crumbling buildings and large class sizes. the sickout kept thousands of students home and coincided with president obama's visit to the city to tout the auto industry's recovery. >> ifill: and an auto with special status is going on the auction block in philadelphia. pope francis used the black fiat during his visit to the u.s. last september. the auction is set for january 29th. proceeds will go to the roman catholic archdiocese and the children's hospital of philadelphia. >> woodruff: still to come on the newshour: the latest on flint, michigan's toxic water crisis. warnings against a spreading virus that causes child deformities.
a call to de-emphasize test scores in college applications. and much more. >> ifill: truth be told, the water crisis in flint, michigan was a story that has been unfolding for years, and has only recently begun attracting regional attention. but now, the massive lead contamination of the city's drinking water is very much on the national radar. children in flint now have double -- and in some cases, triple -- the levels of lead in their blood, and a federal emergency was declared last weekend. today in detroit, president obama addressed the troubles in flint. >> i know if i was a parent up there i would be beside myself that my kids' health could be at risk.
it is a reminder of why you can't short change basic services that we provide to our people and that we together provide as a government to make sure that public health and safety is preserved. >> ifill: in fact, michigan governor rick snyder has apologized, and pledged to take new steps to protect the community. snyder himself is under increasing pressure to detail what his administration knew, and when. and in flint, there's plenty of anger and questions over who's to blame. the newshour's william brangham is just back from flint with this report. >> brangham: this is how bad it's gotten. >> a case of water! >> a case of water for this house! did she get a filter? >> brangham: in flint, michigan, the sheriff's department is going door-to- door, handing out bottled water and filters. >> brangham: fire stations are now water distribution centers.
the national guard's been deployed, and this was before the president declared a federal emergency for flint over the weekend. why? because despite repeated claims from officials that i'v everythg was fine for a year and a half, people in frint was drinking water poisoned with lead, a toxin that causes irreversible damage to the body. >> it's every kid on the block, it's every baby on the block, it's everybody, every old person. >> brangham: one of kim streby's two sons, like potentially thousands of other kids in flint, has elevated levels of lead in his blood. >> i was absolutely disgusted to think that we are paying an enormous price for water that is dangerous, that we can't use. >> brangham: the crisis began five years ago, because the city of flint was trying to save money. this majority black city has
been in an economic tailspin for decades, ever since general motors cut production here. 40% of flint's 100,000 residents live in poverty. in 2011, governor rick snyder turned near total control of flint over to a series of emergency managers, and they began major cost cutting, including a decision to try and save $5 million by switching flint's water supply. officials originally said they wanted to get water from lake huron, which is about 80 miles to the east, but that pipeline wasn't going to be finished for two more years, so in the interim, they decided to get their water here: from the flint river. but as soon as the river water began flowing into flint in april of 2014, red flags popped up. the water smelled bad, and it flowed in a startling array of colors. e-coli and other bacteria were discovered, followed by chemicals that can cause liver and kidney problems. in the fall of 2014, the local g.m. plant stopped using flint water because it was corroding their auto parts. >> i mean you can see the particulates in it. see it floating.
see the brown stuff in it? yeah, that's in my daughter's body. >> brangham: lifetime flint resident rhonda kelso -- like 1000s of other residents -- soon discovered there also poisonous lead in the water. the whole problem occurred because the flint river corroded the city's old lead pipes, leaching the toxic metal into the water supply. kelso's 12-year-old daughter, kaylynn - who's already developmentally delayed and hearing impaired - has now tested positive for lead in her blood. >> they kept telling us something was safe and it was revealed that it wasn't safe and we had to rely on outside agencies to let us know that the water was poison. we already knew it was but we had to prove it. >> brangham: one of the people who helped prove it was one of kaylynn's doctors, dr. mona hanna-attisha. she's the director of the pediatric residency program at hurley medical center in flint. >> when pediatricians hear anything about lead, we, we
stand up straight and we freak out. because we know lead. lead is a potent, known, irreversible neurotoxin. >> brangham: late last summer, dr. hanna-attisha tried to get county and state data on how much lead flint's kids had been absorbing into their blood, but she hit roadblocks. so she then pulled data on roughly 1,700 kids from her own hospital and other local pediatricians. >> we didn't sleep. we did this right away. uh, this was the fastest research project i've ever done, because of, kind of the public health community implications. it went from about five percent of kids to over, almost 16% of kids who were tested who had elevated blood lead levels. >> brangham: she released her findings at a news conference last september, but her data was dismissed by state health officials. >> we were attacked. so, we were told that we were "unfortunate researchers." that we were -- >> brangham: unfortunate? >> unfortunate researchers, that we were causing near-hysteria. >> brangham: but two weeks later, officials acknowledged
her findings were correct. and separately, researchers at virginia tech had also confirmed high levels of lead in flint's water. this contamination could've been avoided if officials had only added an anti-corrosion agent. in fact, federal law requires it. but they didn't do it in flint, and no one has fully explained why. >> it's something that no parent would accept, it's something no city, county, or state should accept. and there's no way it can be justified. >> brangham: dr. lawrence reynolds is a pediatrician and president of mott children's health center. he says lead causes a litany of problems for kids: delayed mental development, irritability, aggression and learning problems. >> if you've seen those i.q. curves where the big hump and the small tails 5% on either end. what lead exposure does is it shifts the curve so you'll have
more kids with lower i.q. and more children who will have learning problems and require services. but then start multiplying these things by thousands and imagine what a school district has to deal with. >> we're talking about a whole generation of five and under. >> brangham: newly elected mayor karen weaver campaigned on fixing the water crisis, and shortly after taking office and with limited powers, she declared a state of emergency trying to get her city some help. >> people said that was something that couldn't be done, but i said "let them tell us no." let them tell the people of flint that we don't deserve these financial resources, these supports and services for our families. >> we don't live in third world conditions where we should have safe drinking water and we don't. >> brangham: streby's two sons are ronan, who's 13, and jude, who's 11. he's the one who's blood test came back with elevated lead levels. so you'd been drinking it,
cooking with it, brushing your teeth with it, taking baths in it, 100%? >> yes. >> brangham: and then when you found out that there was something wrong with that water, how did you feel about that? >> i felt kind of scared, like to know that i was using this water for pretty much everything and then i found out it could be dangerous. >> i was kind of grossed out. imagine you drinking water for a year and knowing that there's something that could be life threatening. >> brangham: as a parent, i couldn't imagine the feeling that for over a year-and-a-half my kids were drinking water that somebody should've known was poisonous. >> there are no words. i don't know what to say. it's anger, frustration. and you wonder what's next. >> brangham: at least three different class action lawsuits have now been filed, blaming local and state officials, even the governor, for negligence.
last night in lansing, governor rick snyder used his state of the state address to focus on flint. and pledged state officials would do all they could to fix the problem. >> no citizen of this great state should endure this kind of catastrophe. government failed you, federal, state and local leaders by breaking the trust you placed in us. >> brangham: but those assurances aren't enough for rhonda kelso. she's signed on to one of those lawsuits. >> they think that we're a permanent underclass and they think that we're uneducated and ignorant and that we are the most violent city in america and people wanted to dispose of people like that. >> brangham: flint is a majority black community, and we know that when you look at who gets lead poisoning in the united states, it's majority
black communities. >> yes. >> brangham: do you think that that's what's going on here? >> speaking to me as a person of color and as a resident of the city of flint, i'll ask the other question: if this were a grand blanc, michigan, bloomfield hills, st. joseph, michigan, all of which are mostly white, middle-class, would we have had the same response if there was a water issue? >> brangham: what do you think? >> it would've been a completely different response, a more timely response and those complaints would've been taken as legitimate. >> brangham: the city of flint has stopped using the flint river as its source, and corrosion control is now being used. people from across the united states have been donating tens of thousands of bottles of water, and more national guard troops have arrived to help distribute them. >> i love this city and i love the people in this city and it's a great city.
and this water situation is absolutely devastating to me, but it isn't the definition of the city. >> brangham: flint's better than that. >> absolutely. absolutely. >> brangham: for the pbs newshour, i'm william brangham in flint, michigan. >> woodruff: now, growing concerns over a mosquito-borne virus that is linked with birth defects and has moved into south america, the caribbean and the u.s. and so far, there's no treatment for the virus. jeffrey brown has the story. >> brown: the zika virus has been known of for decades. but beginning last may in brazil, it's taken a frightening turn, being linked for the first
time to babies born with unusually small heads and brain damage. more than 3,800 cases to date. government workers have been checking house to house in brazil for breeding grounds. >> ( translated ): we are in this battle, this fight to do this in a record time. >> brown: in most cases, individuals who contract the virus show few or no symptoms. but the virus is spreading, already to a number of countries and territories in south and central america and the caribbean. there have also been a handful of positive tests confirmed in the u.s. in each of these cases, the patient or mother is believed to have picked up the virus abroad. >> the individual went to the doctor, had known about the zika virus, let their physician know they were in an area that had it, got tested, came back positive. >> brown: the c.d.c. recently issued an advisory recommending that pregnant women avoid travel
to affected areas. and yesterday, it said those who have already traveled to such areas and are feeling sick should be tested for infection. i spoke about all this yesterday with c.d.c. director dr. thomas frieden, and asked first how serious a threat he sees in the zika virus. >> zika is really new in this formal though it's been around and known since 1947, it's only in the past eight or nine years that we've seen outbreaks of zika and only in the last couple of months that we've seen a large if you remember of cases of serious birth defect in brazil which appears to be related to zika. that's why we're recommending that if you're pregnant and thinking about travel, check the c.d.c. web site to think about whether you want to go to that place or not. >> you're telling people right now, pregnant women, to think about postponing. you're not definitively saying don't travel to these countries yet? >> we're advising pregnant women not to travel to places that
have zika transmission because there is just too much we don't know, so if it's possible to avoid that travel, that's important to do. for anyone in an area with zika, pregnant or not, or if a pregnant woman goes to a place or is in a place that may have zika virus spreading, it's spread by mosquitoes, and there are important things to do to reduce your risk of getting a mosquito bite. you can wear repellant that works. you have to wear it all day long because these are mosquitoes that bite during the day. you can also wear clothing that as premethren in it. these are both safe in pregnancy. you can wear long sleeves and pants to reduce exposure, and you can stay inside in air conditioning and screened spaces. all these things reduce your risk of mosquito bites. we are recommending at this point and totally no more, just to be safer, that pregnant women, if possible, avoid
traveling to places with zika virus transmission. >> brown: there is a lot we don't know. let's go through what we don't and do know. i gather that, until recently, most cases involving zika were not considered very dangerous, right? many had no symptoms whatsoever. >> absolutely. we've generally seen as many as four out of five people who get infected by zika don't know it, don't have any symptoms. among those who get infected, the symptoms tend to be mild and go away within a week with a rash and fever and not feeling well. some have had weakness or paralysis after zika. whether related or not, we don't know. that's being investigated. what's likely concerning is a large number of birth defects identified in brazil and studies in our c.d.c. lab identified that, in some of the infants and some of the miscarried fetuses because there were miscarriages,
we've identified the zika virus. that doesn't say it's the only cause or the cause of all of them. there may be other factors, nutritional or other infections going into that, but this is a very unusual circumstance. it's very unusual that we identify a new virus that causes serious birth defects. >> brown: there was a case reported in hawaii of a baby born with brain damage. the mother in that case had lived in brazil? >> that's correct, had lived in brazil, gotten zika in brazil and the baby, sadly, was born with a mal mall malformation ors in hawaii. we've seen travelers coming back with zika in the u.s. we've diagnosed a dozen so far in our laboratory. this is not unexpected. when zika is in a community, it can spread quite widely. but what we've seen sit tends to be associated with one particular type of mosquito that is only in certain parts of the
u.s. and in those parts of the u.s. with the use of mosquito repellant, air conditioning, screens, we haven't seen large scale transmission of viruses with this type, but we're still learning more and working hard to learn more about this virus. >> reporter: but is it not likely to spread into the u.s., given the pattern so far, and as the weather warms up come spring? >> i don't have a crystal ball. i can't predict what will happen. i can tell you what has happened with other similar viruses. this is spread by the mosquito that spreads the dengay virus and in some parts of florida and texas we've seen transmission of that virus, so it's possible that may occur. however this virus is a little different in that it mostly affects people, and people only carry it for a few days. so how widely it will spread in an area where you're not seeing
people without air conditioning, not seeing people otherwise, we don't know, but it is certainly possible that we will see cases in certain parts of the u.s. and possible we might even see clusters. but we don't predict that we would see something widespread as we saw, for example, with weswest nile virus. we have a bird reservoir that can spread and perpetuate it. but what we can say for sure is if you're pregnant, think twice before going to a place with zika, we advise you not to. for anyone in a place with zika and other mosquito-borne diseases, you can take practical steps to greatly reduce your risk of getting a mosquito bite and therefore diseases spread by mosquitoes. >> brown: dr. thomas frieden of the c.d.c., thank you very much. >> thank you. >> ifill: the c.d.c. also launched its latest anti-smoking
campaign this week. we spoke with doctor frieden about its impact. we'll show you that part of the conversation tomorrow. >> woodruff: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: candidates criss-cross iowa to win last minute votes. changing perceptions through stories of autism. and a photojournalist remembered through the stunning photos she left behind. but first, many high school seniors have finished college applications. and now they're waiting to find out whether taking advanced courses, prepping for entrance exams and agonizing over essays will pay off. a new report from the harvard graduate school of education calls on colleges to lower the pressure on students to impress admissions committees by racking up achievements and accolades. the report, called "turning the tide", recommends limiting the number of advanced placement
classes and extra-curricular activities that students can list on applications. instead, it emphasizes community service and other changes. richard weissbourd is the lead author of the report and a senior lecturer at the harvard graduate school of education. richard weissbourd, thank you thank you very much for joining us. what is it that's wrong with the college application process right now? >> well, i think right now, what students are doing is they're -- some students are racking up accomplishments. i think they think, particularly in affluent communities, that the goal is long brag sheets, and the message we're trying to send is that the goal isn't long brag sheets. the goal is meaningful academic engagement and spirited, passionate learning, and it's meaningful ethical engagement. it's being involved in the community, concern for others and the greater good, the public good. >> woodruff: so what is it students are emphasizing you would like to see less of?
>> i think one of the things that they are very focused on is creating -- accumulating extracurricular activities, accumulating a.p. courses. with admission deans who have endorsed this report, over 50 endorsed it, they're saying collectively, and it's very important they're saying it collectively, you know, they're on the same page about this, they're on the same highway, what they're saying is, you know, you're not going to be penalized if you take a lot of a.p. courses, but you don't need to. you're not going to be penalized if you take a few a.p. courses. it's fine. it's totally appropriate to list a couple, two or three extracurricular activities that have been meaningful to you and to describe why they're meaningful to you. we're not looking for long lists of activities, either. >> woodruff: but as you said, it is about 50 colleges and universities that signed on. there were clearly some that didn't sign on. aren't there going to be schools out there that do care about
some of the ways these students perform in ways that you're saying should be deemphasized? isn't there going to be a different set of criteria now, different schools? >> you know, i think there is a few different issues here. all the ivy league schools have signed on. a lot of the very selective schools signed on. many nonschools that are not especially selective have signed on. and i think, you know, the criteria are still that they're looking for students that are academically rigorous, but they're also saying we're looking for students who lead well-balanced lives, who are involved in their communities, and they're not involved in community service as an accomplishment, as a way to impress admissions officers. they are involved in things that are meaningful to them and potentially transformative to them and enable them to have experiences of diversity across race, class, culture and political and religious orientation. >> woodruff: is there a risk, though, richard weissbourd, that you create a different sort of
pressure on students to rack up the kind of community service that you're saying you and others want to see them engage in? >> well, you know, i think that there are some students and parents who are going to game the sirnlings that's always true -- game the system, that's always true, but partly what we're asking them to do is do forms of community engagement that will be transformative for them. one thing about community service and community engagement is if students have authentic choices, well structured and well supervised and have time for reflection with adults and peers, even if it's mandatory, it tend to be helpful and often is transformative and a powerful learning experience so you might do it for the wrong reason but get up benefit. >> woodruff: so you think that's the way it works, you mandate somebody to do community service and believe they will get something out of it? >> well, we're not mandating it.
we are encouraging it. we are saying, you know, it's not about doing a brief stint overseas. it is about doing something meaningful, doing something in a diverse group and a year, nine months to a year, doing it for a sustained period of time, and the chances are greater you're going to get something out of that kind of experience and you will be able to describe in the application in a way that's meaningful and express what was meaningful about it to you. >> reporter: it'you. >> woodruff: it's a report certainly worth looking at. richard weissbourd, the harvard graduate school of education, we thank you. >> well, thank you. it's a pleasure to be here. >> ifill: we turn now to the race for the white house, and a familiar face on the campaign trail. former alaska governor sarah palin stumped for republican candidate donald trump today, after giving him her official blessing last night in iowa.
in tulsa, oklahoma, she took aim for the second day in a row at the republican establishment. >> here we got a redhead from the big red apple running for president, and yet the g.o.p. machine, all of a sudden they're saying we're not red enough, we're not conservative enough. >> ifill: and with less than two weeks to go, before the first voting begins, we get the latest now from political reporters in two key states. paul steinhauser, political director for nh-1 news network joins us from manchester, new hampshire. and o. kay henderson, news director at radio iowa. she is in des moines, aye. kay, what is the effect of the sarah palin bombshell yesterday in iowa? >> well, number one, it plays into the trump play book, steals all the oxygen from the room and
that's all anyone is talking about today is sarah palin and donald trump. number two, she's kept in touch with tea party activists in iowa over the years. number three, i think it amplifies the core message he has been spreading. but she uses a phrase typically called crony capitalism up against what she's been railing for years, and he is the embodiment of that in terms of how he's motivating people who are upset against the establishment and the "crony capitalists." >> ifill: there's no question she can suck the air out of the political room and she's also had the affect of getting people el elected, including ted cruz to the united states senate, who seems to have been the one person really campaigning for her endorsement. >> and she endorsed terry branstead here in iowa when he returned as governor in 2010 and an early endorser of joni ernst
who won in a primary in 2014 and won the seat in the u.s. senate. >> ifill: paul steinhauser, does it reverberate the same way in new hampshire? >> maybe not as important here in new hampshire but, yeah, it's definitely an endorsement that can't hurt donald trump, it could only help him here. i was covering ted cruz and speaking with the senator minutes after the endorsement happened. he downplayed the endorsement and said he's still friends with sarah palin. he recognized she helped him get elected to the senate in 2012 but ted cruz looked me in the eye and said attend of the day it's the voters who will determine who's the real conservative in the race. it hurts his argument a little because he's been in a war of words arguing trump was not the real conservative so when sarah palin endorses trump its stings a little bit. we'll find out in weeks. >> ifill: especially heeding up in the voting in a couple of weeks to get caught up in the polls, but a couple of polls in the past 24 hours show donald
trump with a quite definitive lead in new hampshire. >> yeah, and that has been the case quite some time. unlike iowa where you have a horse race treen trump and cruz, in the granite state trump has been the frontrunner and the polls in the last 24 hours say the same thing. right now the battle is for second place and we have two polls out in the last day saying john kasich is the clear second-place in standing now. another one shows ted cruz in second place. cruz hasn't been here a lot until this week. he's doing a five-days bus tour getting crowds. kasich is getting large crowds as well. don't count out jeb bush, chris christie or marco rubio. we have a five-way battle now for second and third place here's in new hampshire, dwen. >> ifill: is it a five-way battle in iowa, as well, kay? >> seems to be two tiers of
competition. trump versus cruz competing for one and carson and rubio positioned to be the alternative in the second tier and then everybody else is in that bottom tier trying to make their way to be a competitor against carson and rubio and maybe emerge as the establishment candidate. >> ifill: let's talk about the democratic side of this equation, paul, which tightened it far more than people expected, especially in new hampshire. >> yeah, in new hampshire, it's been a very different story than the rest of the country. we've had this great race between hillary clinton and bernie sanders going back to july. that was not the casesy. i know now he tightened the race in iowa, but sanders has been the frontrunner in all the polls and a new one out just yesterday had him up at 27 points. i don't know about that. she the frontrunner here. maybe only by 8, 10, 12. that put hillary clinton on the defensive. she stepped up attacks against
bernie sanders in the last two weeks. sanders is popular, from the neighboring state of vermont. but i think it also shows that just like we saw with the republican primary voters in new hampshire, democratic primary voters are frustrated, they're angry. they're angry at politicians. they're angry at washington. they look at bernie sanders, even though he's a politician, he looks like the anti-politician, that's why he's getting a lot of excitement and doing well in the polls here. >> ifill: are the clinton folks getting nervous in iowa, kay? >> she is dedicating a lot of her personal time to campaign in iowa throughout the weekend. i covered her in toledo through the weekend. she was telling voters they need to choose someone with a sensible, achievable agenda. struck me sort of like your parents telling you you have to choose the practical. that's the message she's going out to iowans with, to counter the bernie sanders' political revolution rhetoric that's really firing up some of the democrats in iowa. this is a real nail biter here
in iowa. it's hard to tell when you're on the ground who that is the advantage. >> ifill: it's funny because people usually resist what their parents tell them. they love the bad boy, the insurgents. both in iowa and new hampshire, both of you sum this up for me, what are voters telling you that explains what's driving this volatility at this stage in the campaign? starting with you, paul. >> well, again, i think it's just you throw all the rules out the window when it comes to this election cycle. voters in both parties are frustrated, want something different, they want change. that's why you're seeing bernie sanders and donald trump here in new hampshire resonating well and lead big a lot in these latest polls, gwen. >> ifill: okay. f i could quote sarah palin, last night she said we're mad because we've been had. i think that sums up what the grassroots in both parties have said in iowa. >> ifill: i one of the cliches
is it doesn't matter till people show up at the caucus. does that hold true this year? >> clinton has an advantage in that she started months before sander and she had far more financial resources to plow into an organization that her people think will turn people out on caucus night. both sanders and trump have the problem of actually telling people that they have to go to a specific site at a specific time and figure out the caucus process. it's not like the new hampshire primary, which is easy. you have to caucus at a specific time and a specific location. >> ifill: we'll be there with you. o. kay henderson and paul steinhauser. >> the next presidential debate
in mull walky, wisconsin february 11. >> woodruff: the first time democratic candidates will meet after the votes are cast in the iowa caucuses and two days after the new hampshire primary. >> we are working with facebook to start discussion among voters now inviting engaged voters still deciding how to vote to join our new facebook group. talk with the pbs "newshour" politics team and possibly have one of your questions asked during the debate. >> woodruff: find out more about our debate on our facebook group on the "newshour" facebook page. >> ifill: we'll see you in milwaukee february 11. >> woodruff: now we wrap up on our series on understanding autism. tonight, we get the perspective of two seasoned journalists: john donvan and caren zucker. they have been reporting on
autism for years, particularly on some of the people behind the fight to better understand this disorder, from parents, to doctors, to the afflicted themselves. and it's the main theme of their new book, "in a different key: the story of autism". jeff brown talked with them recently. >> brown: karen zucker. john donavan. welcome to you. >> thank you. >> hi. >> brown: you write in the introduction the story of autism is the story of many--actually many stories. john donvan, start: what does that mean when you at the kind of arc of the story you're telling? >> well, the arc is a very big picture like the tide moving in and moving out, but they're a lot of waves along the way. the story of autism is made up of so many people and so many periods of time and "in a different key" tries to bring them into one place to show how this condition that we never heard of until 75 years ago came into consciousness. >> brown: and many people not until much more recent than that. >> many people only heard about it in the last 15 years or so as a result of controversy.
>> and also in autism, if you've met one person with autism, you've met one person because the spectrum is so huge. >> brown: you both come through this--as do many people who've been involved and come to learn about it--through personal experience. right? >> i have a 21 year-old son with autism who's now a young adult our book looks back at the history at how far forward we've gone from being in institutions and not having a place to go to but it sort og stops at adults. >> well, yeah, and our thought is that people who fought to get their kids out of institutions and into schools where legally they were barred. schools could say, "we're not gonna educate your kid." >> brown: yeah. >> things moved so much that we want that message to be an inspiration for the job there that's still to be done. >> brown: you talk about things being shrouded in shame, secrecy, and ignorance. give me an example. what do you mean by that? >> well, parents were told to put their children in institutions.
that was the thing that you did. keeping them home, nobody did that. if they did, they hid them. and if they put them in institutions, they didn't tell anyone. it was what doctors told you to do. >> and to forget about your kids. they would say, "put your kids there, go home, take care of your kids who are 'normal', and try to forget those kids." and some parents, many parents did that through about the 1950s or 60s. >> brown: the whole history you tell from back then, even through to today, is filled with confusions, arguments, counter- arguments. so, everything seems to be on the table: definitions, responses, even to today whether there's an actual epidemic, all of this. >> that's because autism itself is not a very clearly defined concept and the proof of that is that the definition has changed again and again and again over the years. it's a condition where there's no dna test, there's no cheek swab biological marker. autism is defined by looking at behaviors and everybody looks at
behaviors differently. so over the years, autism has been a diagnosis in the eye of the beholder, which allows for all kinds of arguments and dissention and theories and competing therapies to come into play. >> but there's one thing that's been a constant, which is parental love. if you read the stories in this book throughout all of the battles, all of the fights, all of the controversies, it's all about fighting for their kids. >> brown: that's a story that runs through the book. parents, and activists of course, but parents really leading the way. >> parents were... >> ...which is why this isn't just a book for the autism community per se. it's for everybody who's ever had a child, who's ever cared about somebody. what wouldn't you do for your child? >> brown: was there a character that jumps out at you that you can tell us about? >> our friend donald triplet was the first child diagnosed with autism. karen found him back in 2007. you found a phone number that you thought might be his and you called him up. we weren't sure it was the guy
who showed up in the medical literature as case one, because the only name was given was donald t. >> brown: and what did you hear? >> i got his answering machine and he answered, "hello, this is donald triplet. happy june. happy fall. happy christmas and a great 2007 to you." and i knew as soon as it was "john! we found him! we got him! it's donald! we definitely have donald!" >> he's such a wonderful guy, donald, but the wonderful thing about his story, a couple of things, one is that who is and who he has turned out to be. he was very, very severely disabled as a child. he's the role model for the diagnosis of autism. he couldn't use language effectively, he didn't connect with people. and today he has a wonderful life as a man in his 80s. he's living alone in a little town in mississippi, he plays golf all the time, he travels the world, he has friends. and the other thing about that story is his community and the role they played in it. >> they've totally embraced him. they've accepted him for being different so he wasn't
different. >> brown: given this sort of history of confusion. counter-arguments, where--what do you see happening now? >> well, we're at a point now where things aren't perfect but we at least try to address the challenges of children with autism in ways that we weren't doing nearly sufficiently even 25 years ago with programs, with acceptance. we see kids like that on television, there in public schools, they're getting direct education and direct therapy. but that's, we think, the job only being half-done there's a whole--something's gonna happen to all of these kids and they're basically going to grow up like your son and he's turned 21... >> ...and his whole life he's had incredible support and services because of the parents that fought for them. >> brown: and so do you see, you see more acceptance? >> definitely. >> brown: you see more understanding in the society? >> for children. >> brown: for children, but you still see many problems. >> well, there's a lot of dissention and controversy in the autism community. we've lived through some of them. the whole vaccine debate has been one of them. there are disagreements over whether autism is something that should be always and all the
time embraced and celebrated as just a different way to be human, or whether autism can sometimes be debilitating to individuals that you want to do something to change those disabilities in them. there are fault lines all of the time, but i don't think there's a fault line on this question what do we do about adults. i think everybody agrees that it's a problem, but nobody really has a solution. and i don't sense that people are loving the adults the way they've learned to love kids because the truth is they're not going to be cute in the same that kids are and they shouldn't have to be cute to deserve and merit our attention and support. >> brown: do you have a last word on that? do you think it's a cultural issue? a political issue? what do you see? >> i think it's cultural first that adults are--they're not embraced, people...they're unknown still. people aren't used to having adults with autism around. >> a little story we tell in our book is the perfect thing. it happened a few years ago on a bus in new jersey. there was a kid sitting on a
bus. he was about 19 years-old--17 years-old. he's learning how to ride the bus. his teacher is in the back of the bus. he's been for weeks showing him how to ride the bus and he's been fading himself farther and farther back. and the kid starts making some noises and flipping his fingers and rocking in a odd way. and two passengers behind him start getting agitated, and they start saying to this kid, "hey, weirdo. what's you're problem?" the great thing is what happened next. >> is that he had been riding the bus for a few weeks. so the people on the bus were used to him and so some guy stood up and said, "hey, he's got autism. what's your problem? what's your reason for acting like a jerk?" and what happened is a community formed around him. >> the problem was there and the solution was there. >> brown: alright. that's one of the many stories told. the book is "in a different key: the story of autism." karen zucker. john donvan. thank you both. >> thanks jeff very much. >> thank you for having us.
>> ifill: finally tonight, a young life dedicated to capturing beauty, cut short by violence. al qaeda militants attacked a hotel in burkina fasso on friday. 30 people were killed including two who worked for amnesty international. one of the amnesty workers was a french-morrocan photographer named leila alaoui. earlier today we spoke with one of alawi's closest friends, aida alami. we reached her by phone at alaoui's funeral, in marrakesh, morroco. >> she was a luminous, really vibrant person. she was really positive. she loved her job. she loved her friends, and she was a very ac thetive young woman, traveling all the time, working on topics she really loved. she was very focused, very dedicated to her work and subject. this anecdote i've heard her say
a lot is she was french moroccan so, because of her french passport, she could travel everywhere, and she was always relieved, interested in all these people who could not cross borders and so on, and she was wondering why they were trying -- they were risking their lives to go to the other side. she had a way of photographing people, like not many people can do it. she started getting to the portraits -- into doing portraits all over the world. she did a lot of human rights campaigns for free. she was interested in capturing people going through hard times. the reason she was in burkina faso, i know she was taking photos of powerful women and she was sending me a lot of pictures of these women she was photographing, as reporting on subjects where she was embedded for a long time, for example the plight of sub-saharans in
morocco. she was so into it, she got tons of phone calls from undocumented people trying to cross and her giving them advice saying, no, don't risk your life, don't cross. she was constantly trying to help them find a doctor and find money for them. one day i was reporting on sub-saharan migrants in morocco and she said today i will be recording a lot of them all day, so if you need some subjects, just come over to my place. and i walked in and there were, like, 40 people in her living room and she was makeig lunch for them. she was just very intense about all her subjects.
>> ifill: on the newshour online: in his latest column, our resident jobs guru asks whether "disappearing job offers" are the new trend. and we want to hear from you: tell us your experience with this, on our "making sense" page. and scientists at cal-tech have found evidence of a massive, faraway planet. if true, it would constitute the ninth planet in our solar system, an honor once bestowed on pluto. see images of their findings on our home page. all that and more is on our website, pbs.org/newshour >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. on thursday, "making sense" looks at how geography may have played a part in producing geniuses from michelangelo to steve jobs i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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